2012 July » ADL Blogs
July 27, 2012 1

Hezbollah on Your iPhone: There’s An App for That

Update: The Alma­nartv appli­ca­tion was removed from Apple’s iTunes over the week­end. It was later removed from Google Play for Android.

In the lat­est exam­ple of ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions exploit­ing cur­rent tech­nol­ogy to spread their vio­lent mes­sages, an appli­ca­tion was made avail­able on Wednes­day through Apple’s iTunes ser­vice pro­vid­ing mobile access to con­tent from Hezbollah’s satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion, al-Manar.

The new free appli­ca­tion, adver­tised on air by al Manar, directs users to var­i­ous sta­tion con­tent, includ­ing speeches by Hezbol­lah leader, Has­san Nas­ral­lah. Al-Manar broad­casts the ter­ror­ist group’s mes­sages of hate and vio­lence, dis­sem­i­nates anti-Semitic and anti-American pro­pa­ganda and glo­ri­fies sui­cide bomb­ings to mil­lions of view­ers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hezbol­lah is a U.S. des­ig­nated For­eign Ter­ror­ist Orga­ni­za­tion, and al-Manar was listed as a “Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist” by the Depart­ment of the Trea­sury in 2006.Al-Manar has a pres­ence on other inter­net plat­forms as well, includ­ing a Twit­ter account with over 17,000 fol­low­ers and 51,000 messages.

Other ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions use the microblog­ging ser­vice, includ­ing Al Shabaab, a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion in Soma­lia which for­mally merged with Al Qaeda ear­lier this year. There are also numer­ous ter­ror­ist sup­port pages on Face­book and other social media platforms.

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July 27, 2012 Off

Conference the Latest Sign of Increased Anti-Immigrant Activity in North Carolina

On August 10–11, 2012, an anti-immigrant con­fer­ence will take place in Wilm­ing­ton, North Car­olina titled, “IIIm­pact – ille­gal immi­gra­tion and the cost to YOU!” The list of con­fer­ence speak­ers was announced on July 23 and brings together many of the main anti-immigrant voices in the state as well as some speak­ers known for their anti-Muslim state­ments and associations.

The con­fer­ence is the lat­est exam­ple of an increase in activ­ity by the anti-immigrant play­ers in North Car­olina. In 2011, the NC House cre­ated the House Select Com­mit­tee on the State’s Role in Immi­gra­tion Pol­icy. The Com­mit­tee has had numer­ous hear­ings through­out 2012 and has pro­vided a plat­form for anti-immigrant and immi­grant rights activists to voice their opin­ions. On June 13, 2012, for exam­ple, anti-immigrant lead­ers includ­ing William Gheen, James John­son and Ron Woodard met with Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R-District 98) to dis­cuss immi­gra­tion issues. It is unclear at this time what the atten­dance of the con­fer­ence will be but anti-immigrant groups in North Car­olina have been encour­ag­ing peo­ple to go to the event for a num­ber of weeks.

Sched­uled speak­ers at the August event include:

William Gheen – Founder/head of the anti-immigrant group Amer­i­cans for Legal Immi­gra­tion PAC (ALIPAC). Gheen has a long his­tory of hate­ful rhetoric towards immi­grants.  ADL has a lengthy pro­file on Gheen which can be read here.

James John­son – Founder/head of the anti-immigrant group North Car­olini­ans for Immi­gra­tion Reform and Enforce­ment (NCIFRE). On his Face­book page, John­son has cir­cu­lated mate­r­ial from the racist Web site, VDARE.com and the white suprema­cist group, Amer­i­can Renais­sance. John­son has also attended FAIR’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in the past. 

Ron Woodard – pres­i­dent of the anti-immigrant group, NC Lis­ten. NC Lis­ten is listed on the Web site of the extreme anti-immigrant group Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform’s (FAIR) as a local affil­i­ate for North Car­olina. NC Listen’s mis­sion state­ment says that it “part­ners” with FAIR. Woodard has also attended FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in the past. 

Sher­iff Sam Page (R-Rockingham) will also be speak­ing. Page spoke to Con­gres­sional Lead­ers at an event put together by FAIR in May 2012.  In Octo­ber 2011, Page par­tic­i­pated in a panel titled, “Crime Chal­lenges from Ille­gal Immi­gra­tion” which was spon­sored and mod­er­ated by the anti-immigrant group Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS). 

Ilario Pan­tano – A for­mer can­di­date for the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 2010 and 2012, Pan­tano has pro­moted anti-Muslim sen­ti­ment. Pan­tano spoke at both the 2010 and 2011 9/11 ral­lies in New York City put on by anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller. He has also writ­ten the fol­low­ing about the Islamic cen­ter close to ground zero: “It is about mark­ing reli­gious, ide­o­log­i­cal and ter­ri­to­r­ial con­quest.” He con­tin­ued by stat­ing, “This mosque is a martyr-marker hon­or­ing the ter­ror­ists who less than a decade ago killed thou­sands of us just two blocks away, and it must be stopped.”

Sue Myrick – retir­ing NC Con­gress­woman (R-District 9) who also has a his­tory of anti-Muslim sen­ti­ment – she has spo­ken at the national con­fer­ence of ACT! for Amer­ica, one of the largest anti-Muslim groups in the coun­try. She also wrote a for­ward for the book, Mus­lim Mafia: Inside the Secret Under­world that’s Con­spir­ing to Islamize Amer­ica.

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July 27, 2012 Off

Latest Divestment Effort Results in Yet Another Failure for BDS Movement

Oppo­nents of Israel have been engaged in efforts to wage eco­nomic war­fare against the Jew­ish State via Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paigns for sev­eral years now. The lat­est such ini­tia­tive, which failed this week, was a cam­paign to pres­sure Sonoma County in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia to stop work­ing with Veo­lia, a French trans­porta­tion com­pany that is allegedly guilty of “ser­vic­ing Israeli set­tle­ments in the West Bank.”
A res­o­lu­tion to con­sider not renew­ing the county’s con­tract with Veo­lia, which pro­vides tran­sit ser­vices worth $7 mil­lion, was con­sid­ered on Tues­day by the county’s Human Rights Commission.The com­mis­sion voted 5–4 against the res­o­lu­tion. It will “hear the issue fur­ther” at its August meet­ing, accord­ing to news reports.
In the seven years since the for­mal launch of an inter­na­tional cam­paign to boy­cott Israel, no Amer­i­can col­lege cam­pus in the United States has divested from Israel or com­pa­nies that work with Israel. No church. No retire­ment fund. Israeli mer­chan­dise, includ­ing beauty prod­ucts, hum­mus, and cous­cous, con­tin­ues to be read­ily avail­able on store shelves around the country.
Despite the obvi­ous lack of main­stream appeal, many domes­tic anti-Israel groups – includ­ing the “North Coast Coali­tion for Pales­tine,” which was respon­si­ble for the recent cam­paign in Sonoma County – seem to be unwill­ing to rec­og­nize defeat. Even a peti­tion cir­cu­lated by the group, which was posted to the US Cam­paign to End the Israeli Occupation’s Web site, gar­nered less than 300 signatures.
While these cam­paigns are used by anti-Israel activists as a dele­git­imiza­tion tac­tic, they have never had much chance of suc­cess. In this case, even if the Human Rights Com­mis­sion would have voted in favor, it has no power to enact pol­icy and would only have been able to present a rec­om­men­da­tion to the county’s Board of Super­vi­sors. Many divest­ment res­o­lu­tions that are con­sid­ered on col­lege cam­puses are sim­i­larly non-binding.

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